BJP national president JP Nadda’s convoy was attacked with stones and bricks while on its way to Diamond Harbour in Kolkata on Thursday.
Several cars in the convoy, including that of BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and Bengal BJP head Dilip Ghosh, were damaged in the attack. Few party leaders, including Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy, also sustained injured.
Nadda while speaking to BJP workers in Diamond Harbour said: “The scenes I saw while coming here are highlights of the anarchy prevailing under (chief minister) Mamata Banerjee in Bengal. We were able to reach here because of the blessings of Maa Durga. TMC workers left no stones unturned to stop or finish us. This is ‘goondaraj’. I had a bullet proof car. But almost all other cars were damaged.”
He added: “There is no administration here. Administration has collapsed. Without central forces there is no way of moving in Bengal. While I was coming, I saw ordinary people and how they are scared. Parivartan has already taken place in Bengal. People have turned their faces away from Mamata Banerjee.”
Union home minister Amit Shah, while condemning the attack said the Centre was taking the “incident seriously”. He added: “(The) Bengal government will have to answer to people for this sponsored violence.”
Bengal party head Ghosh alleged Trinamul Congress workers sporting flags and lathis attacked their convoy at multiple places. “Stones and bricks were hurled by TMC workers. Several cars have sustained damage. Police were mute spectators in some places and missing elsewhere.”
However, Bengal minister Subrata Mukherjee said the incident was “created” and that the saffron party was trying to disrupt peace. “Nadda is doing provocative things. This was all pre-planned. If someone has done something wrong, if they are our people, they will be punished. But I urge our supporters not to fall into their trap. I urge our people to keep distance. The incident will be probed by the government and steps will be taken,” he said.
Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also expressed concerned over the “alarming reports of anarchy and lawlessness” and rued that such incidents took place even despite his intimations to the chief secretary and director general of police.
Nadda is on a two-day visit to Kolkata as the BJP steps up it campaign for the Bengal election due early next year.
Thursday’s incident comes days after a BJP worker was killed and several injured after violence and arson erupted in north Bengal’s Siliguri during the BJP’s Uttarkanya Abhiyan, a protest march to the state’s branch secretariat.